NOT A TRACE OF SWEAT IN THE AIR…
USINE SPORTS CLUB
by Chené Koscielny
Gyms do not need to be sweaty, gritty and overcrowded.
They can be pure luxury – beautiful spaces, the best equipment and the type of service that makes you feel like you are George Clooney or Selena Gomez.
At least, this is the promise of Usine Sports Club, one of Geneva’s most exclusive and luxury gyms and preferred workout spot of many of the city’s jet set. The club has just had an expensive makeover to offer clients even more luxurious touches.
If you hadn’t heard about Usine Sports Club, it’s because you were not meant to! The club operates a waiting list and only allows 900 members for 1,200 square metres across four floors. This is far more space per person than most other gyms.
The 10-year-old fitness club, located in a beautiful former hotel in Rue Bovy-Lysberg, has been classified as 5 star by the Swiss federation of fitness and health centres.
THINGS TO DO IN GENEVA was invited to test whether this truly is Geneva’s most luxurious gym. We accepted, of course!
A FEELING OF OPULENCE
The first impression is certainly A-list with Maseratis and Porsches lining the pavement outside. Step inside and you’ll be wowed by a stunning space comprising wooden floors, exposed brick walls, high ceilings, huge windows and stylish suspended wire lighting created by industrial designer Arik Levy.
The reception desk has a luxury hotel feel to it and there is always someone on hand to welcome you with two fluffy white towels and a smile. This is the kind of reception where your favourite protein shake or healthy salad will be waiting for you when you step out of your class and where the staff know your name.
AVANT GARDE CO-WORKING LOUNGE
The feeling of opulence is carried through into the lounge area, which has a brand new avant garde look – designed as a comfortable, stylish co-working space.
This space is intended to make a new generation of trendy and stylish clients enjoy a seamless experience between home, office and gym.
“We want to create a cool, stylish, cosy ambiance to make people want to stay after their workout,”
says club manager Xavier Philibert, who has had 17 years’ experience in the fitness industry.
The lounge space is dominated by a huge co-working wooden work desk offering several charging stations, which could easily be used for a team-building session after a workout.
The lighting is a perfect blend of natural light streaming in through big windows and soft lighting by an impressive suspended LED ‘cloud’ light-fitting created by Frank Owen Gehry.
There is a slick black bar counter down one end of the room from where you can order freshly squeezed juices, protein shakes and healthy bowls – made by local health restaurant Granola.
Huge, comfy grey lounge chairs offer the perfect space to relax.
The weightlifting and cardio-training areas on the second floor have been completely renovated and equipped with top-of-the range Precor equipment. The massive Queenax installation on the second floor offers all the materials you need for an intensive functional workout.
Expect to see small groups or individual coaches called Mécanos putting their clients through their paces rather than overcrowded training stations and overflowing group classes.
The innovate group classes include the latest trends, for example Ginga Vibes – a fast-moving class based on Brazilian capoeira.
WHAT WE’VE TRIED SO FAR
So far I’ve tried the body combat class, power yoga and cycling group classes, which were all of a very high standard with great vibes, clear instruction and offering a good workout.
The classes are much more intimate than what I’m used to – with the yoga class being the fullest at around 15 people.
The cycling/spinning class is limited to 12 seats and this is the only class that has to be booked in advance online. Cyclists can follow their progress and compete via a big virtual reality screen in front of the class, which is great fun!
The U-Studio – the club’s brand new exclusive Pilates studio on the 4th floor – offers a truly zen bubble and can be privatised.
The type of people who work out here are seriously stylish. They love their brands from Rolex and Breitling watches to Louboutin sneakers or Louis Vuitton bags. You do of course see some beautiful people, but surprisingly there is actually quite a good mix of ages, sizes and walks of life, so it doesn’t feel too snooty.
Expect the kind of crowd who hang out in business class lounges and five-star hotels.
CHANGING ROOMS AND RELAXATION
This is my favourite part – there is no queuing for showers and the huge changing rooms were designed with privacy and luxury in mind. No matter what time of the day I go, I always end up feeling as if I’m alone, or nearly alone, in my own bathroom. It’s quiet, chic and never crowded. Ergonomic chairs, hammams, soft lighting, candles and essential oils ensure full relaxation.
It is total bliss…
The gym prides itself on its brand partnerships with high-end brands, offering members exclusive deals and sales events as a perk.
THE PRICE TAG
Annual membership rates come in at around CHF2450 or CHF2000 for a corporate membership.
I have been to many gyms throughout the world and Usine Sports Club undoubtedly has a luxury, exclusive feel about it. It is stunning and stylishly decorated, as well as professionally run. There is nothing gritty about it and no hint of sweat in the air!
It has a feeling of total privilege without being too snob and it has become the highlight of my week, not only as a workout space, but also as a place to hang out and relax either in the spa or lounge area afterwards.
WHAT CAN BE IMPROVED
On the negative side, I found the music in the group classes at times a little bit too loud to hear the instructions.
The yoga class was great, but could do with more yoga mats and blocks.
Easy to fix!
Overall, if you like luxury and beautiful stylish spaces that are not too crowded combined with a good workout and you like your workout to feel like a treat, you’ll love Usine Sports Club.
It’s elegant and classy in an understated way.
It may take a while before you remember you’re not Selena Gomez or George Clooney after your workout, unless of course you are Selena Gomez or George Clooney!
Usine Sports Club has sponsored my experience in their club, but we only work with brands we like and we feel comfortable recommending to our readers. We tell it like it is.